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Noise survey of aggregate industry vibrating screens.

Lowe-MJ; Yantek-DS
NOISE-CON 2011. The 25th Conference of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering, July 25-27, 2011, Portland, Oregon. Washington, DC: The Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the USA, 2011 Jul; :1-10
Hearing loss was the second-most common illness reported to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) in 2009. In the mining industry, the aggregate sector (stone, sand, and gravel) made up 79 percent of all mining facilities in 2009 and 52 percent of all surface employees. Through a series of field tests, researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health set out to determine if the aggregate processing industry could benefit from ongoing research into noise controls for horizontal vibrating screens used in the coal processing industry. The results from this investigation show that noise exposure due to vibrating screens does not appear to be a concern for the plants that were surveyed. At the locations studied, 9-13 percent of plant personnel are affected by noise, while the remainder spend their work day in control booths or vehicle cabs where high noise levels are not present. Those personnel who are exposed to equipment noise spend limited time near operating vibrating screens. However, all screens surveyed include operator travel areas where sound levels exceed the threshold of 90 dB(A) used in the determination of the MSHA Permissible Exposure Level. Dosimetry and sound level data show that material size is the dominant factor in the noise produced by the inclined vibrating screens that are common in the aggregate industry. Screens with a larger material size (maximum feed size of 42 inches) have sound levels ranging from 91 to 118 dB(A), while screens with a smaller material size (maximum feed size of 1.5 inches) have sound levels ranging from 80 to 92 dB(A).
Noise; Noise-levels; Noise-measurement; Sound; Hearing; Ears; Mining-equipment; Mining-industry; Permissible-limits; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Stone-mines; Sand-and-gravel-mines; Noise-control; Vibration; Vibration-suppressors; Coal-mining; Machine-operators; Equipment-operators; Control-equipment; Control-methods; Dosimetry; Noise-shielding; Noise-shields
M. Jenae Lowe, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Office of Mine Safety and Health Research, 626 Cochran's Mill Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
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NOISE-CON 2011. The 25th Conference of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering, July 25-27, 2011, Portland, Oregon